Senator Patty Pansing Brooks to Seek Fortenberry’s House Seat | Nebraska


Lincoln’s Senator Patty Pansing Brooks announced Monday that she would seek the Democratic nomination for the seat of the 1st District of Eastern Nebraska, currently held by nine-term Republican Representative Jeff Fortenberry.

Pansing Brooks, who will complete his eight-year term as a non-partisan legislator late next year, kicked off his campaign with media contacts in Columbus, Norfolk and Fremont ahead of his event launch scheduled for early evening in the Great Hall of Lincoln Station.

The choice of Lincoln Station was a deliberate move to draw attention to the importance of improving infrastructure in Nebraska and to Fortenberry’s vote against the $ 1.2 trillion plan recently approved by Congress. , she said.

“I certainly would have voted for this bill,” Pansing Brooks said in an interview ahead of her official announcement.

“This offers huge and much-needed benefits to Nebraska – roads, bridges, rural broadband, public transportation improvements,” she said. “I think he (Fortenberry) was off track.”

Pansing Brooks noted that while dozens of Republican members of Congress voted against the infrastructure measure promoted by Democratic President Joe Biden, Republican Representative Don Bacon, who represents Metropolitan Omaha’s 2nd District, and the Republican Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska supported the bill.

“The 1st District needs stronger representation,” she said, a member of the House who “will speak … and make Washington more sensitive to our district.”

Pansing Brooks said she would like to “bring our impartiality to Congress (in) a consensus-building way that hopes to work down the (partisan) aisle.”

If elected to the House, she said, she would also like to “work on workforce development” as a top priority, acknowledging that this is currently a major challenge. for Nebraska.

“We want to make sure everyone knows he’s welcome here,” she said. “This is the way of Nebraska.”

Pansing Brooks, who is a lawyer, said she did not plan to focus on Fortenberry’s indictment of federal charges that he lied to the FBI and withheld information about illegal campaign contributions he had accepted from foreign sources in 2016.

Fortenberry has denied these allegations.

“I will let the courts make their decision,” said Pansing Brooks. “I’ll talk about his case.”

Fortenberry has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his trial is tentatively scheduled for mid-February in Los Angeles pending court rulings on motions to dismiss the case.

The Lincoln congressman, who was first elected in 2004, is the dean of the Nebraska congressional delegation and a former member of Lincoln City Council.

Pansing Brooks, 63, was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2014.

As a candidate for Congress, she said, she will not accept campaign donations from Corporate Political Action Committees (PACs).

In the Legislature, Pansing Brooks focused on civil liberties and equal human rights, supporting “equality before the law”.

In her announcement, she highlighted the protection of victims of human trafficking and legislation to address the state’s workforce shortage, reform the juvenile justice system and “protect marginalized communities, including Native Americans and LGBTQ + Nebraskans.

“I think the attributes that have made me an effective state senator are the same that we need in Washington more than ever,” Pansing Brooks said in a statement accompanying her announcement.

“Strong leaders work together. Strong leaders seek out those with whom they sometimes disagree to resolve issues that people care about. I want this to happen in Washington. “

Senator John McCollister of Omaha, a Republican colleague in the Legislature, said in a video announcing Pansing Brook’s candidacy: “She is able to fill in the gaps like no one I know. So if it can be done , Patty Pansing Brooks will make it happen. “

Responding to his announcement, Fortenberry campaign spokesperson Chad Kolton said “the contrast will be very clear.

“Patty Pansing Brooks will faithfully advance Joe Biden’s agenda and will have to explain a chaotic economy, border crossings and dangerous foreign policy,” he said.

“Jeff Fortenberry has faithfully and effectively served Nebraska and America in Congress and will call on voters to re-elect him in 2022 to continue this work.”

Pansing Brooks is the second consecutive Lincoln State Senator to challenge Fortenberry.

In 2020, Fortenberry fought off a solid Democratic challenge from former Senator Kate Bolz of Lincoln, ultimately winning her re-election by a comfortable margin while narrowly losing Lincoln.


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